Branding Overhaul

Hello there folks! I’ve been using Audacity for quite some time now and I feel it’s very popular for an open-source application. I truly believe it’s amazing how a community can work so well together to create a program such as this. It’s my senior year in college and I’m looking to get involved in some open-source projects such as this one. I have a focus in graphic design and I love branding…which brings me to this new topic I don’t believe has been brought up or at least not in a while:

I would like to propose a logo overhaul to something a little more modern looking. Many modern logos are more natural feeling without all of the “sharp” edges that stick out like a sore thumb. Another thing to note with the current logo is it’s a little complex when involving at least three colors and a glow intensity affect. I’d like to narrow this down to only one color so it can be easily and cost-efficiently printed on anything. If the consensus is not in favor of the branding change then I believe a sans-serif font would look more natural with the current headphone and sound waves icon. It’s such a bold icon for a skinny font.

I’m trying to think how this project could come together as a more appealing application and maybe attract users. Being open source, I know it’s not the objective to make money and to have a good logo to attract the people paying for the service…in which this case they’re not, but has anyone worked on the visual aspects lately?

That’s just a suggestion of course. I had to give myself a reason for creating a new simpler logo for Audacity. Otherwise it will look nice in my portfolio but I wouldn’t have anything to say about it. Here’s what it looks like and let me know what you think! -Please see attachment. Thanks!
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 2.07.09 AM.png

Hi baddestboots,

With well over 100,000,000 downloads I doubt that many commercial alternatives come close.

It does come up from time to time. There is an outline proposal on the Audacity wiki about it:
Many alternative logos have been proposed over the years - a few of them have links on that page.

In recent discussions, there seems to be a definite shift toward using a sans-serif font.

We are not looking for a complete visual overhaul at this time because of the high development cost of doing so. Audacity is built using wxWidgets, which allows Audacity to work cross-platform, but also determines much of the look. It is not just a matter of applying a “skin”. However, looking to the longer term, there are plans to develop “theme support” which will allow much greater customisation of the appearance.

Quite frequently there are requirements for specific graphical features - these may be as small as designing a new button, or a highlighting scheme, or a new control panel, and will eventually include designing complete “themes”. We are definitely interested in having artist / graphic designers in the team that are able to handle these requirements as they occur.

Personally, I think that’s a very nice looking logo, and it would certainly be a good “feather in the cap” for any designer to re-brand such a high profile product. Another aspect of logo design is “brand recognition”. Audacity has been a leading open source audio editor for about a decade, and the “old flaming headphones” has very strong brand recognition. I like your design a lot, but I think that it breaks too far from the well known logo.

I certainly think that the visual appearance is an important aspect that deserves consideration, so thanks very much for your contribution and raising this question. Would you be interested in other aspects of the visual design of Audacity?

Thanks for the response Steve! I sure would be interested in any kind of visual design. Keep me posted.

Well that raises another question :smiley:

The Audacity developers keep in touch with each other primarily through a mailing list. They are all subscribed to the list, so when a post is sent to the list, all of the developers receive it. Several of the Audacity support team are also subscribed to the list so that we can keep abreast of what is going on. However, although the visual design tasks / opportunities within Audacity are likely to be initially raised on the developers mailing list, most of the email there is likely to be of little or no interest for graphic designers. So the question is, how best to keep people like yourself posted.

One suggestion was to have a separate (low volume) mailing list specifically for artists / graphic designers, though it was also thought that some might prefer a forum. We are looking to set something up as a way of maintaining contact with artists / graphic designers that have shown interest in Audacity, but at the moment it is still an open question of what we set up. Do you have any thought on this? What would be your preference?

I really like this logo, but I personaly think You should just refresh old one:)

Here’s a logo that Martyn (one of the developer’s) sent to me.